4 Benefits of Using Social Media for Customer Service

4 Benefits of Using Social Media for Customer Service

Good customer service is about more than processing a return or issuing a refund for a faulty product. Most importantly it’s about listening to your customers; praises, complaints, questions and concerns all come in to play and it’s your job to help in a friendly, and efficient manner. It sounds easy, but as any business owner knows customer service can be challenging at times.

As a social media user yourself you may have taken to Twitter or Facebook to rant about a product or service that didn’t meet your expectations, or you know someone who has. That being said, it’s no surprise that businesses have also realized that they too can harness the power of social media to deliver customer service on an entirely new level. If you haven’t yet considered doing the same, you may want to consider these benefits:

1. Social media is personal.
When a customer takes to the internet to sing the praises or complain about a product or service it’s because they want to inform their friends and family of their experience, primarily to prevent the bad ones from happening to someone else. This gives you the opportunity to also make your interactions personal as well. For example, UPS not only offers a Help Center on their Facebook page, but customer service reps personally respond to comments, address concerns with lost packages, shipping delays, and any other inquiries both in a timely and genuine manner to remedy the situations as quickly as possible. Your customer service team may be 10 people or just yourself, but offering a personal touch when interacting with disgruntled customers online can go a long way.

2. Social media is instant.
In the digital age it’s not uncommon for customers to seek help through email, while others will still continue to wait it out in telephone queues. Social media however? Instant gratification. A customer can reach out to you with a question, comment, or problem and you can respond immediately to resolve the issue. Not only will they be pleased, but other social media users and customers will also see the interaction and be aware of how committed you are to assisting your customers.

For an even more unique look at how instantaneous social media customer service can truly be: Samsung won a Shorty Award for Customer Service after using Twitter to connect with Samsung Galaxy users at SXSW. When their batteries ran low during the festival they could tweet #PowerOn and a bike messenger would come to their location to swap the dead battery for a charged one.

3. Social media offers the element of surprise!
While many social media users will tag a company or brand in their posts they aren’t always expecting a response, and unfortunately many companies will either not see the posts, fail to respond, or blatantly choose to ignore them. By monitoring social posts for mentions of your business you can reach out to unsuspecting customers who may not have tagged you, as well as those who have. Even those who were hoping for a response will often be surprised to get one, even more so if you are able to help them with their request.

And don’t forget, not every interaction has to be a complaint or problem, sometimes customers are just having a little fun, which means you should too. JetBlue is well known for their social media customer service, not only are they actively engaging with customers to address concerns, but they know how take things to the next level. When a customer once mentioned that she was upset about returning home and joked about having a parade JetBlue didn’t just respond to her tweets, a welcome home parade greeted her at the gate! While day-to-day assistance with luggage questions, flight delays, and other issues are sure to go a long way, they have realized that offering a little something special from their customer service is great for everyone.

4. Social media customer service benefits you too.
When something goes wrong with a product or service people feel compelled to air their grievances on social platforms. According to The Social Habit the primary reasons are: they want their friends to see it, they want the company to see it, and they want the issue to be resolved. Fair enough. As a company, you are the one who is in control. As complaints come in you can be quick to respond, quick to remedy, and always maintain a positive attitude that is geared toward helping your customers. Not only do they get what they are looking for, but you are able to promote your excellent customer service capabilities and overall brand image.

 

As social media continues to evolve customer service is sure to do so right along with it, offering you even more ways to connect with your customers. Not only will offering an outstanding online customer service initiative positively benefit you and your customers, it’s a solid approach to rising above your competition.

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